Focusing on the needs of the poor and those easily overlooked or forgotten in North America is just one of the many ways that Medical Mission Sisters and our Associates try to be a healing presence today.
Our 119 Medical Mission Sisters and 41 Associates in North America begin a new year of healing mission by responding to the special needs of the poor, isolated, underserved or those in need of a special healing presence in a country often considered the richest and most powerful in the world. As all members of our Community, our Sisters serving in the United States and Mexico believe justice is integral to healing. They work and pray for the day when all will be treated with the care and concern they deserve as human beings and as children of God.
Women and their needs are a special focus of ministry in North America. Whether these women are victims of domestic violence or trafficking, newer immigrants looking for work, in prison or in transition from incarceration, homeless, uninsured, seeking greater knowledge and leadership skills, or struggling to make a good life for their families, Medical Mission Sisters reach out to them as part of hands-on and in-person programs. Some of these programs have been developed by us. Others we have joined as co-workers with others for justice.
Several of our Sisters teach English as a Second Language to adult learners. Often these students come early in the morning, before their minimum-wage jobs, to learn language skills that will help them to better support those in their care and eventually gain citizenship. Other immigration issues–safe housing, good health care, educational opportunities, income-generating projects–also receive the attention, and action, of our North American members.
Two of our Sisters in the US work on Native American Reservations, providing needed health care services. One is a surgeon, the other a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Other Sisters continue to offer holistic health services, especially among those who are poor and living with almost unbearable stress.
Our Sisters offer counseling, religious education and spiritual direction in several areas. Wherever possible, the Community’s love of liturgy and attention to its importance in our lives are shared with others. So, too, is our respect for and collaboration with persons of all faiths for peace and justice in our world.
Taking time to talk with the lonely in parish settings and in our Philadelphia Thrift Shop involves several MMS. We also are pleased to be present to those in assisted living and nursing care facilities, including some of our own members. Other Sisters share their communications and artistic talents and teach interested persons how to identify and develop them in their own lives.
Praying for those who share their special intentions with us is very important to all North American MMS and Associates and a special ministry of our elder Sisters.
January 1, 2013